Leadership in Law 2013: Katherine A. Brown-Henry

Associate, Cline Farrell Christie & Lee P.C., Indianapolis Valparaiso University Law School

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katherine-brown-henry01-15col.jpg (IL Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

Katherine A. Brown-Henry is known around her office as a bit of a probate guru. In fact, she’s overhauled the system by which Cline Farrell Christie & Lee P.C. handles wrongful death estates and guardianships. She’s also taught two continuing legal education programs on probating wrongful death estates. Kate has served as a judge for the We the People and Indiana Mock Trial programs. She also manages her firm’s law clerk program and initiated a book club where she and the clerks read and discuss legal books the firm has found instructive.

If you could take a sabbatical from the law for a year to work your fantasy job, what job would you choose?
High school college counselor.

Would a world without 24/7 technology be a good or bad thing?
Good thing. Face time should be more than an app on my iPad.

What class in law school did you find the most difficult?
Property, too many archaic words. 

What civic cause is the most important to you?
The We the People program.

What’s the most important thing your mentor has taught you?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help and give help where you can.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
I would want Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Truth.

In life or law, what bugs you?
I think it’s important to be respectful of a person’s time, so being late without calling is my biggest pet peeve.

Working on medical cases, you’ve probably seen a lot. Is there something that still makes you squeamish?
Autopsy and intraoperative photos.

If you could pick a theme song to describe your life, what would it be?
“Life is Wonderful” by Jason Mraz.

If a drink or sandwich were to be named after you, what would it be called and what would be in it?
“Kate’s Tenderloin Sandwich” - grilled pork tenderloin, Indiana tomatoes, lettuce, a little mayo and a whole-wheat roll.

Numerous TV shows center around lawyers and their practices. Are any of them close to realistic?
Not really, but a show without a twist in the fact pattern or an “Ah Ha!” moment wouldn’t be very interesting.

If you could go back in time, “when” would you go to and what would you do?
Being a “Downton Abbey” fan, I wouldn’t mind being Lady Grantham.


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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.